Minzer Old Soul

vintage + handmade + inspirations

Monday, May 3, 2010

105 Vera Scarfs and still counting

I have count em' yes 105 of these scarfs. All original. I know that the Vera Company http://www.theveracompany.com/ has started to reprint these and I have seen her linens and scarfs and even skirts at Anthropologie and Macy's. Good design never dies.

Vera was the third of four children born to Fanny and Meyer Salaff. Her parents encouraged each of their children to find a passion and follow it. Vera's passion was drawing and painting. Her father gave her 50 cents for each sketchbook she could fill with her drawings. Her first job was as a fashion illustrator and then a textile designer on Seventh Avenue in New York. After a brief stint at that, she left to design fabric and murals for children's rooms.
Vera met George Neumann who was from Austria and who had a familial background in textiles. The two were married and moved into a small studio on 17th street. George and Vera decided to merge their career backgrounds and began their company, Printex. They built a small silkscreen to fit on their dining room table and produced linen placemats (the only thing that was small enough to fit the table printing press). These they cured in their kitchen oven.
They were soon joined by Frederick Werner Hamm, a friend who had recently immigrated from Germany and also had a background in textiles. He used his sales ability to sell the first order to the department store B. Altman.

WWII was in full swing when Vera found that the linen supply was dwindling. Searching for more linen for her products, she came across extra parachute silk at an army surplus store. Thus began her scarf business. She kept her signature on the art that was transferred to the scarves, thus creating the first signature scarf in history. Vera scarves launched the business into immediate popularity and Vera was soon on a first-name basis with women around the country. Marilyn Monroe was a fan as well as Grace Kelly and First Lady Bess Truman (who had selected Vera fabric from Schumacher, Inc. to grace the White House third-floor Solarium windows and upholstery.) Women around the country chose Vera products for their color and happy prints.

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